According to the Office for National Statistics 1.54 million people in the UK currently work from home, up from 884,000 10 years ago.
The current global challenges businesses are facing means these figures are certain to rise.
In order to stay in business and stay productive, many office-based employees will find themselves working from home full-time. So, as business leaders what are the best ways to manage remote workers to ensure they remain motivated and engaged.
As a global company with over 100 offices in every corner of the world, we are facing and adapting to these challenges ourselves. We employ office and home-based workers and have worked with many organisations in helping them lead their virtual teams successfully.
So, here are our top 10 tips on how to get the best out of your remote team.
1 .Be prepared – if you’re going to ask someone to work from home make sure they have all the equipment they need. There’s nothing worse than not being able to get the job done because you haven’t got the right tools. Consider IT support and think about other costs too, such as are you going to pay towards their utilities and wi-fi whilst they work from home.
2. Consider the security of your data and information – This EU IT governance blog provides some sound advice https://www.itgovernance.eu/blog/en/gdpr-the-implications-of-working-from-home-or-on-the-road
3. Set clear guidelines – working from home it’s very easy to slip into to the habit of working unsociable hours and expecting the same from others. Set clear times when you expect them and you to be available. For example, emails to customers should be answered within xx hours. Internal emails should be replied to within xx. Urgent matters will be raised by text or phone
4. Focus on task completion, rather than hours worked – Without the distractions of an office it’s highly likely work will be completed quicker, so rather than expecting people to be sat at their dining room table from 9-5, ensure everyone understands what deliverables they need to work on. Then everyone can relax a little knowing they are doing worthwhile work
5. Keep in touch – for some people working from home can be isolating, especially if they live by themselves. Make sure you regularly keep in touch and not just via email. Remote should not mean lonely.
6. Make time for small talk – It’s not all about the work, office life builds camaraderie and culture. For people working from home, even those who would never want to set foot in an office again, it’s the friendships and bits of daily news and gossip that people miss. We’re social creatures , so make time for a non-work catch up on your calls, to maintain the well-being of your team. Create a team/social what’s app group so people can still share news etc.
7. Make your online diary accessible – let your team know when you’re available to help or chat by letting them access your online diary. Consider ring-fencing certain times everyday or a few times a week when you are available
8. Use technology – schedule regular meetings using video technology. A picture paints a thousand words and stronger relationships are normally built through face-to-face interactions, so video technology allows more non-verbal communication to build and maintain those vital relationships and to pick up on vital signals as to how someone really is coping.
9.Send treats – it’s very simple, just because someone is working from home doesn’t mean they should miss out on the rewards and treats office life brings. And who wouldn’t be delighted and motivated to receive a sweet treat or similar to their home.
10. Buddy Up – if someone is working from home, but other people are still in the office, link them up and make them responsible for sharing all the latest company news, so that nothing is missed and no one feels left out.
- Companies that allow remote working have 25% less turnover (Owl Labs)
- 86% people feel that working from home reduces stress (Flex Jobs)
- 65% of people think they work best at home (Flex Jobs)